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UTech, Jamaica expresses appreciation to outgoing USAID Mission Director

University of Technology | 2016-06-24 00:00:00

Ms. Herbol’s engagement with UTech, Jamaica through the USAID has involved two human rights based projects – the UTech Cares initiative in 2013 which later evolved into the Fi Wi Jamaica Project, both of which have been profoundly impactful in their objectives to expand the limits of tolerance and respect and to influence behavioural change and transformation of attitudes among students and staff at UTech, Jamaica and beyond.

Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President, in his remarks lauded Ms. Herbol as an exemplary advocate for the advancement of human rights and the reduction of discrimination against various marginalised and vulnerable groups through the USAID’s various programmes and initiatives of which the University has been a beneficiary.  He noted that UTech, Jamaica is pleased to have been associated with her and the USAID and assured the outgoing Mission Director that the legacy of cooperation that has been established between the two organisations will continue to benefit both UTech, Jamaica and the wider community.

Prof. Hamilton, reported that the FiWi Jamaica project has conducted various activities in 12 parishes across Jamaica in collaboration with 16 project partners drawn from corporate Jamaica and non-profit organizations, some of which have included the Institute of Law and Economics, Scotiabank Chair – Entrepreneurship and Development, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), 51% Coalition, Jamaican Association for Debating and Empowerment (JADE), the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), Flagstaff-Trelawny Maroons, Jamaica Household Workers Association and others.  Prof. Hamilton shared that 3,100 persons participated in 46 programmes which included workshops and sessions on business entrepreneurship and empowerment training for women, web entrepreneurship training, Fi Wi Jamaica empowerment workshops on trafficking in persons (TIP), domestic and intimate partner violence (DIPV), women for empowerment (WFE) network meetings, a panel discussion focusing on civil society and democracy and youth empowerment session offered through the University’s ‘Saturday University’ initiative.

Ms. Denise Herbol in her response expressed appreciation for the progress the University has made in championing the cause for respect and the protection of human rights in Jamaica.  She stated that it has helped to open the space for an ability to have a discourse on the issues, noting that, “this discourse was not available when I first got here in 2011, but it is here today.”  She commended the project team for their hard work and acknowledged that the road has not been an easy one, and gave assurance that her successor at the USAID has already pledged continued support of the project.

Posted By :Michelle Beckford

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